Collins faces a burning ambition

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The Independent Online
Steve Collins faces a hitherto unknown challenger for his World Boxing Organisation super-middleweight title in Glasgow on Saturday. That does not mean Craig Cummings, a late replacement for Collins' original opponent, Anwar Oshana, will lack fire in his belly.

The 29-year-old American is a full-time firefighter in Kansas City but will not be quitting Fire Station 187 if he takes Collins' crown. Nicknamed "Kid Fire", Cummings has a record of 34 wins, two defeats and 29 knock- outs. He holds the WBA Continental America super- welterweight title and will be no pushover for the Irishman.

"I am a big fan of Steve Collins. I love the way he fights because I have a similar style," Cummings said. "This is going to be a good fight, and I'm coming over to Glasgow to win.

"I'm better known in the States than Anwar Oshana. I have fought three times on Madison Square Garden network and I have a better record. I accept few people in Europe know of me, but they will after July 5."

In a recent fight, Cummings was hospitalised after struggling to win. It was found he was suffering from smoke inhalation during the fight, after a roof caved in while he was fighting a fire the previous night.

If Cummings beats Collins, he has already agreed a six-fight deal with his promoter, Frank Warren. "This fight is not a big pay day for me. Winning the title is more important. I can make a lot more money if I win.

"I'm coming to win but I won't mouth off at Collins. I like him and I respect him. He's a good champion. But this is a great chance for me to make a living from the sport."

Collins has also been praised by Jake La Motta, the former middlewight champion who will be at ringside on Saturday.

"Collins is my type of fighter through and through," said the 78-year- old, who fought the great Sugar Ray Robinson six times in his 106 bouts.

"He is tough to the bone and one of today's great fighters. He reminds me of the fighter I used to be."

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